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At a time when the conference and symposium industry seems to be dominated by giants such as Pittcon and ASMS, it is refreshing to find a thriving boutique conference like the 9th Annual Csaba Horvath Symposium held April 28?29 at the Hartford Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut.
At a time when the conference and symposium industry seems to be dominated by giants such as Pittcon and ASMS, it is refreshing to find a thriving boutique conference like the 9th Annual Csaba Horvath Symposium held April 28–29 at the Hartford Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut.
The “old days” of chromatography are always discussed fondly by industry veterans, especially in the pages of LCGC in our “History of Chromatography” column, where guest columnists frequently reminisce about simpler times when the field was more of a close-knit fraternity of practitioners than a business. Those days are long gone, but with around 100 attendees and an intimate and collegial atmosphere, the Horvath Symposium can give you a small glimpse of what the old days must have been like. This year’s symposium was dedicated to one of the most respected members of the industry’s old guard, Georges Guiochon, and some of the most prominent names in the field of chromatography were in attendance, with lectures delivered by such well known figures as Eli Grushka, Brian Bidlingmeyer, and Nelu Grinberg. Dick Henry co-authored a poster, as did John McCaffery, and just a quick glimpse at the final program will provide a reader with many other recognizable names, as the lineup was a veritable “Who’s Who” in the field of chromatography.
Topics discussed ranged from the acetonitrile shortage to the recent melamine scare to an intriguing (and somewhat revolting) in-depth discussion of the sources of the contaminated heparin that jolted the medical world last year (Hint: It involved pig intestines and hand-cranked presses in rural China). In short, the program was heavy on science and practical information, and with a few notable exceptions, was light on vendor presentations and sales material. Of course, the highlight of the symposium was the awarding of the 2009 Csaba Horvath Medal to Georges Guiochon, who delivered a presentation on the consequences of the heat effect on HPLC columns packed with very fine particles.
The “big” events will always have their place in the field of chromatography and perform an invaluable service for scientists and vendors alike. However, as the field continues to expand and grow into a bigger and bigger business, there should also always be a place for events such as the Horvath Symposium and the “old days.”